Connoisseur Koi

Archive for October, 2011|Monthly archive page

Saturday 22nd October 2011

In Uncategorized on October 22, 2011 at 10:54 am

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Its Show Time!

The Nagaoka Show was with us again and whilst the weather was cloudy with showers it did not rain too much.  It was great to meet so many old friends that I only bump into again in Japan.  The GC was a great 79cm Kohaku from Maruboshi and in truth there was a unanimous Judges decision for it and well deserved.   Kase had a lovely Wakagoi Champ with his Showa which is incredibly photogenic.  But the drinks are on Donald tonight.  He entered two male Oomo Showa – one received the best showa in size for 65cm but the star turn was his 5 year 68cm male that he has let Fujio use as a male parent koi for the last two years.  Last year it won the Grand Champion Male award.  This year it was not entered into the male category so was competing against all fish up to 75cm and although 7cm smaller it beat every other koi of all varieties in this size picking up the coverted 75bu size Champion.  Total proof and you can show male koi and win!

Friday 21st October

In Uncategorized on October 21, 2011 at 5:06 pm

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The harvests started with a male mud pond containing just six koi – three belonging to us.  This pond holds fond memories for me as a few years ago I bought and Oomo Showa nissai that I grew on for three years until it took Grand Champion at the All Nagaoka show.  One of the males harvested today has previously won Male Grand Champion at the same show which incidentially  we are going to in the morning.  A new sansai Showa is being entered there by us so I will let you know how it gets on.

Afternoon saw a return to Nogami sans facility where two splendid Kohaku were purchased and left to grow next year.  The Inazuma style is a wonderful fish that I have high expectations of but that is a dream that I will not realise for twelve months

Back end of the day I bought some special Tategoi in the dark!  Not the ideal time but I had seen them several times before in the daylight so I am very confident that when they come home they will be equally special.

In Uncategorized on October 20, 2011 at 1:20 pm

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We drove to the highest mud pond above Yomogihira – it actually looks down on Mushigame.  The setting is so beautifully tranquil and the gorgeous sunshine just added to the atmosphere.  It was just Donald and myself plus a Japanese hobbyist from Nagoya and the breeders.  I had grown on a wonderful Izumiya Yamabuki Ogon that I bought from Fujio last autumn.  It was entered on behalf of my customer into the All Japan Show last January where it was a winner in size 60Bu.  Before harvest today, whilst looking into the mud pond, you could so easily track the big bar of gold ghosting around in the murky waters.  Once the net was pulled in the shine of her body was spellbinding and she was the first to be lifted into the paddling pool and then onto the truck.  Just such a relief to see her in great condition and on the truck back down the hairy mountain road.  She measured in at 72cm and Fujio has confidently suggested that she will grow to 90cm in my customers pond.

Excitement over for the morning the afternoon brought some absolute crackers from Kaneko and Yozaimon where I bought some wonderful doitsu Akame (red eye) Kigoi.  Very rare but just gorgeous.

Wednesday 19th October

In Uncategorized on October 19, 2011 at 4:22 pm

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The weather for the Champion mud pond harvest was perfect sunshine all day. Over 30 guests attended the event and we all witnessed some wonderful koi being bought in from the depths.  There were 29 nissai stocked on the 20th May which was a little later than usual due to the area having over 5 metres of snow this winter causing the water to be too cool.  Fortunately the spring temperatures were very warm so the breeders were very lucky that the fish got off to a flying start.  As usual Makoto Tanaka made the welcome introduction with Fujio interpreting.  I then was honoured to be asked to explain the “Blessing the Pond” toast.  We were all given a cup of champagne, raised our cups together and shouted “Campai” – Cheers!

Once loaded up the trucks went back to Takiya where one by one they were unloaded, measured and photographed.  I had three customers fish that came out looking rather special so a great relief for me and their owners.

In the afternoon we visited Nogami again to photograph the last of my customers Kohaku that was harvested that morning – a cracking two step 4 year old 71cm koi with great volume.

In the morning we are off to another harvest and I hope to have something quite special to show you….

Tuesday 18th October

In Uncategorized on October 18, 2011 at 3:34 pm

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An early start saw us at Takiya where Fujio was sorting out the flags for the Champion mud pond harvest on Wednesday which should be interesting with a couple more of our koi coming out.  Today it was the Angel Fountain mud pond high up in the mountains above Yomogihira.  The setting is truly atmospheric and I found out today that it was originally hand dug by the local village people 40 years ago and then with the advent of mechanised equipment it was enlarged and used by Makoto Tanaka’s father Shoji when he set up Marusho Koi Farm.  In the welcome speech we heard how at the start of the summer season there had been a massive explosion of daphnia and infusoria which were eradicated with masoten.  This vast quantity of natural food would have competed for the valuable oxygen in the pond – potentially detrimentally affecting the 10 great koi that were to swim in it during the summer months.

The prized koi were taken back to Takiya for measuring and the usual round of photography.  Of particular note was Donald Kerr’s monster 71cm Sanke that he has nicknamed “Patches”.  The body shape is purposeful and she has a very imposing swimming action. Another great koi was Julie Steele’s Sanke measuring in at 84cm.  Excitement over we grabbed a quick sarnie before moving onto Nogami.  A great result here with two customers Sansai looking absolutely fabulous.  I had bought two tosai in the Spring and these came out today at 54cm and 53cm.  Koi B10 on the blog having super skin quality with truly stunning whiteground , both of these are coming back with the shipment in a few weeks.  More to come from Nogami but we will look at these tomorrow.

Last breeder today was Yagenji who as always, in value for  money terms, really does take some beating. I bought a box of crackers including a fab Tacho Showa and the icing on the cake was a 74cm Yonsai Kohaku built like the proverbial brick ****house.  I have a delighted customer for this fish.


Monday 17th October

In Uncategorized on October 17, 2011 at 3:00 pm

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Autumn 2011
Its good to be back!
The journey does not get any easier but the smell and taste of the sitll mountain air is like a drug. Only a very quick tour or some breeders but was blown away by a quite amazing Kindai Showa that was harvested this afternoon. The sumi pattern is quite something else and the way it traces across the shiro skin is spellbinding.
The building next door to the Grand Hotel and literally outside my bedroom window is very nearly completed. Whilst not aesthetically pleasing functional is a description that springs to mind. I still cant fathom as to why a land with such beauty does not reflect this in its new buildings.
Some big chaps due out from Angel Fountain pond in the morning. I have had the compulsory Yakitori Chicken Skewers with salad and a couple of beers so heres hoping I can manage to sleep OK.